SO503 Syllabus & Objective

Spring 2003

Wed 01/08/03 

Course Introduction  

Mon 01/13/03

Scientific societies

Visit these web sites, and come to class ready to discuss the functions of a scientific society:

  • Discuss the role of scientific professional societies in holding meetings, publishing papers, and publishing newsletters.
  • Describe the funding of scientific research with grants, and the difference between "hard" and "soft" money.
  • Understand the role of "big science" versus individual research projects.
  • Know the major funding agencies for earth sciences: NSF and ONR, and the difference between NRL and ONR.
  • Wed 01/15/03 

    Scientific writing and presentations
    1. Discuss the importance of priority in scientific research, and the role of refereed and peer reviewed journals.
    2. Understand the importance of abstracts, and the need for clear, concise, and informative abstracts.
    3. Describe the importance of oral and poster presentations for scientific research. 

    Wed 01/22/03 

    Lunch meeting with department faculty to discuss research opportunities  

    Mon 01/27/03 

    Computer basics

    Background reading on computer fundamentals.

    • Discuss scanning and the tradeoffs with selecting the dpi to use, and how this varies for printed and screen (Powerpoint or WWW) use.
    • Discuss raster and vector computer devices.
    • Understand the relationship between bits and bytes


    Wed 01/29/03 

    EOS, 14 Jan 2003,  Sea Level and Coastal Erosion
    • What is the problem for society with coastal erosion
    • How can we measure coastal erosion, and what are the difficulties involved?
    • What does each each figure contribute to the paper

    Mon 02/03/03 

    • Understand the challenge for earth scientists to place multiple dimensions of data on a 2D display.
    • Resist the urge to use "chart junk" to make a graph more complex than needed 
    • Discuss the case study on the shuttle Challenger's O-rings, and how a lack of focus on the graphics presented contributed to the decision to launch

    Wed 02/05/03

    Map Projections & Datums

    MICRODEM Help file, Topics under Theory

    • GIS
    • Datum
    • Projection
    • Discuss the things users might want in a projection: equal-area, conformality.
    • Discuss the three surfaces used to develop geometric projections.
    • Discuss the measurements used to define an ellipsoid: a, b, f, and eČ.
    • Discuss the historical and other reasons why different datums have been used.
    • Discuss the difference between a local datum like NAD27 and an earth centered datum like WGS84.

    Mon 02/10/03


    MICRODEM Help file, 

  • Discuss the components and importance of GIS.
  • Discuss the types of data used in a GIS: vector, raster, and grid.
  • Discuss the uses of filtering and querying available with a GIS, and how they help scientific inquiry.
  • Wed 02/12/03

    Bathymetry from Space Possible, EOS, 4 Feb 2003

    Handout on altimeter hydrography

    • Discuss the differences between traditional measurements of bathymetry and the use of satellite altimetry.
    • Discuss what aspects of oceanography would benefit from better bathymetry.
    • Discuss why satellite bathymetry has resolution limits, but is still attractive.

    Wed 02/19/03

    Test 1  

    Mon 02/24/03


    Wed 02/26/03

    Mon 03/03/03

  • Understand the relationships among wavelength, bandwidth, radiometric resolution, spatial resolution, and signal to noise ratio, and how these vary with position in the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Discuss the tradeoffs involved with increasing spatial resolution.
  • Discuss the reasons why remote sensing concentrates on certain parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Wed 03/05/03

     Lecture Comp Time  

    Mon 03/17/03

     EOS contents
    • Discuss what is found in a typical issue of EOS.
    • Discuss how to read the help wanted ads in EOS.

    Wed 03/19/03

     EOS:  Discuss the importance of these papers:
    • Probing Tectonic Topography in the Aftermath of Continental Convergence in Central Europe (11 March)
    • Ice Logging with Light and Sound (4 March)
    • A New Deep-sea Towed Digital Camera and Multi-rock Coring System (25 Feb)

    Mon 03/24/03

    EOS: 18 Mar, Former Antarctic Ice Motion
    • Discuss why the Antarctic glacial history is important for global climate change
    • Discuss how sea floor topography can reveal past ice motion
    • Discuss how high resolution multi beam bathymetry improves our knowledge of the sea floor

    Wed 03/26/03

    Time series
    1. Use the Nyquist frequency to develop a sampling strategy for a periodic function.
    2. Describe the use of Fourier analysis to investigate the periodic nature of a time series.
    3. Differentiate cross correlation and autocorrelation, and define lags and the correlation coefficient.

    Mon 03/31/03

     Time Series 2  

    Wed 04/02/03


    Mon 04/07/03 

     Review of Test  

    Wed 04/09/03

     April Physics Today

    EOS article on ASTER imagery and glacial danger

    • Contrast and compare Physics Today with EOS.
    • Discuss how the S/R ratio appears in the bands used with ASTER

    Mon 04/14/03


    Wed 04/16/03 


    Mon 04/21/03

    Oral presentations & writing
    • Discuss what makes a good oral presentation.
    • Understand the importance of proper citations in science, and how to organize a paper.

    Wed 04/23/03

     EOS, 4/8/03, Chicxulub Impact

    EOS, 4/15/03, Coral Bleaching


    •  Discuss the key findings of these two papers, and why they are interest to a broad range of earth scientists.

    Mon 04/28/03

     Course Review